51st Annual Pebble Beach Concours 2001, Sunday, August 19th
Show of Superlatives
Warm pullovers and jackets instead of sun hats were a ”must-have” at Pebble Beach
this year due to heavy clouds and wind coming from the sea. The sun fought hard
against the sea fog but even in the afternoon the sun had no chance against it.
Anyway, seeing such a show of superlatives like the impressing Mercedes-Benz
display or the Ferrari Pininfarina and Competition class grids cared for warm hearts !
Vintage Bentley and the 100 year anniversary of Mercedes-Benz took center stage
this year and so no less than 23 Bentleys and 36 Mercedes were shown on the
sacred green of the Pebble Beach Lodge.
John McCaw from Seattle brought two exceptional cars to Pebble Beach. The first
one, a rare Aston Martin DBR 1, won the Strother MacMinn Trophy for the most
elegant sports car at this year’s Concours and the second one, a Ferrari 250 GT
SWB Competizione Berlinetta (s/n 2417GT) took the third place in class M-1 (Ferrari
Competition). This ex-works racer was driven to victory by Willy Mairesse in the 1961
Spa GT race and later that year came home on the 5th OA place at the Nuerburgring
ATS 2.5 Allemano Coupe
One of only 6 ATS Allemano Coupes produced, this Bruce S. Milner entry won its
class N and in my eyes it should have won ”Best of Show”. ATS (Automobili Turismo
e Sport) was founded by Count Volpi di Misurata, Jamie Ortiz Patino and Giorgio Bill
in 1961. They engaged Ing. Carlo Chiti, Girolami Gardini and Romolo Tavoni which
all looked for new jobs since an argument with Enzo Ferrari.
The first ATS cars Carlo Chiti built as chief engineer, were monoposti for the Formula
1. Unfortunately, the cars were a fiasco. Then ATS built a special GT coupé, which
was shown to the press at the Geneva Salon in March 1963. It was a beautiful car
with a body designed by Allemano. The engine was a V8 with a capacity of 2467 cc
and a strength of 210 hp.
Although it was a very ambitious project they failed to sell it and so only six chassis
were completed ever.
Mercedes-Benz celebrated their 100 year anniversary with an unique display of
milestones of automobile history. The spirit of the silver arrows was relived with cars
like the world famous 300 SLR GP car, a W196 GP car, a W 125 etc. etc…
And what else as an Mercedes could win ”Best of Show” this year ? But Arturo &
Deborah Keller’s sensational black SS Erdmann & Rossi Roadster truly deserved it.
Ferrari Competition class M-1
Unfortunately the Ferrari 250 GTO’64 (s/n 5575GT), owned by Carlos Hank from
Mexico couldn’t be found under the Ferrari Competition class grid but this was the
only ”no show”. Rumours had it that due to his father’s death he withdrew this entry.
Jon Shirley’s fantastic 290 MM Scaglietti Spider (s/n 0628) won its class not very
surprisingly. Freshly restored it represents now exactly the bodywork configuration it
had when it ran for the Scuderia Ferrari in 1956. Bruce Lustman’s now blue painted
ex-Briggs Cunningham 166/195 S Touring Le Mans Berlinetta (s/n 0060M) was
judged on second place followed by the 250 GT SWB mentioned above.
My personal favourite this year was John & Heather Mozart’s 250 GTO (s/n 3909GT)
which looked just perfect with its silver paint. In contrast to all these restored
beauties, Victor Muller showed up with an unrestored race-battled 500 Mondial
Scaglietti Spider (s/n 0564MD). He acquired this car just two weeks before from
Complete entry list